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  • A Journey through Provence on the Rhone

A Journey through Provence on the Rhone

8 Day River Cruise

France, Europe

Take in France's rural delights, centuries-old monuments and rugged scenery as you cruise along the Rhone and Saone Rivers, journeying from Lyon to Provence. Explore Roman ruins, the wild plains of the Camargue and the winding hidden passageways of Lyon on this captivating eight-day voyage.

2020 Dossier

2021 Dossier

Tour Highlights

  • The unique hidden passageways of Lyon's "traboules"
  • Explore the Cluny Abbey and Pope's Palace
  • Visit a horse breeding farm in the Camargue
  • Tours of Arles, Avignon, Viviers and Tournon
Train
Coach
Boat
Airplane
Walking
1
Number of nights

Itinerary

Day 1
UK to Lyon

Dinner

Depart London on your scheduled flight to Lyon. Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to your ship, the MS Rhone Princess. Take a moment to settle into your comfortable cabin and enjoy a welcome cocktail with the crew before dinner.

Day 2
Lyon to Macon

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

A tour of Lyon begins at the 12th century Fourviere Basilica, which shapes the cityscape with its splendid architecture and towering presence. Soak in incredible panoramas of the city from the esplanade and marvel at the spectacular colours of the mosaics which cover the interior of the chapel. Continue on to Lyon's Old town and discover its unique "traboules", a network of hidden passageways weaving through the city. Spend some free time exploring the historic Saint Jean District, situated in the UNESCO-recognised Old Town and home to the Musee Gadagne and Cathedrale Saint-Jean-Baptiste. At the end of the day, return to your ship and cruise to Macon.

Day 3
Macon to Vienne

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

After breakfast, travel by coach to the grand Cluny Abbey. Founded in 910, much of the building was dismantled in the 18th century but its past splendour remains with parts of the building providing a blueprint for this monumental structure. In the afternoon, sail down the Rhone towards Vienne, taking in the rolling scenery before an evening of entertainment and dinner on board.

Day 4
Vienne to Arles

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Enjoy a walking tour of Vienne and discover why the city is renowned for its art, history and culture. Founded over 2,000 years ago, Vienne boasts outstanding examples of Roman architecture. Your tour begins at the Antique Theatre, considered one of the largest in the Roman Empire. The theatre was resurrected in 1938 and has returned to delighting audiences with artistic events. Continue your walk into the heart of Vienne and visit the exceptionally preserved Temple of Augustus. Complete your tour at the Cathedral of St Maurice before returning to your boat for the journey to Arles.

Day 5
Arles

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Following breakfast, journey to the unique natural region of the Carmargue. Sit back and enjoy a guided tour past rivers, marshes, and lagoons as you look out for the flamingos, black bulls and the indigenous Camargue horses which inhabit this UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Later this afternoon, visit a manade (bull breeding farm) learn about how a manadier works with the animals. End your day with a complimentary cocktail on the farm patio before returning to your vessel in Arles.

Day 6
Arles to Viviers

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Depart for Viviers in the morning, stopping at Avignon to explore the impressive monuments scattered throughout the Old town. Wander past the Diocesan Church towards the beating heart of Avignon, Place del'Horloge. This bustling area filled with restaurant terraces is the perfect location to view iconic buildings such as the Town Hall and 19th century theatre. Continue on to the town square at Place du Palace and the Notre Dame des Doms Cathedral before ending your tour at the UNESCO-listed Pope's Palace, where you'll have the opportunity to step inside and explore its grand staterooms and take in magnificent views of the Rhone River. Return to your boat and cruise through the afternoon to Viviers.

Day 7
Viviers to Lyon

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

After a morning of cruising, arrive at Tournon, situated in the heart of the Rhone Valley. Proceed on foot towards the Chateau Museum, an imposing castle which overlooks the city. Browse through its historic artefacts then walk through the characterful streets and alleys of Tournon's historic centre. To finish the day, delight your senses as you sample a selection of regional food products and wines before returning to your ship in time for tonight's farewell gala dinner.

Day 8
Lyon to the UK

Breakfast

Disembark after breakfast for your airport transfer and return flight to the UK.

View Full Itinerary

Dates & Prices

Dates
Price (per person)
Dates available
October 2020
from £1,399
1 Date
16th Oct - 23rd Oct
£1,399

Your Cruise Ship

MS Rhone Princess

The Rhone Ship has a total of 69 cabins. All cabins have the benefit of an exterior view and have en-suite facilities.

All-inclusive Dining

Your day will always begin with an impressive buffet breakfast. Chefs prepare succulent 3-course meals for lunch and dinner which are served in the onboard restaurant. Midday and evening meals are paired with excellent and carefully chosen beers and wines, included in the price. An open bar is available throughout the voyage (not including Champagne, special wines, premium spirits or fine brandies).

Life Onboard

All cruises start with a welcoming cocktail reception where you'll meet the captain, crew and staff of your ship. Facilities onboard include a comfortable lounge with a dance floor for your enjoyment and relaxation as well as a gift shop. FREE Wifi is available in lounge bar and reception. The sun deck, complete with deckchairs, offers a panoramic view of the landscape's beauty as you cruise.

Important Information

A visa is not required for your entry into France. Further advice should be sought from the applicable tourist authority for other nationalities and for general queries. We strongly advise you check your destinations' Tourist Board or Embassy for the most up-to-date guidelines regarding passport validity.

We strongly recommend that you and all members of your party are suitably insured as soon as you book your holiday. It is a condition of booking that you must have suitable travel insurance. It is important that you purchase travel insurance that suitably covers your participation in whatever activities you may undertake at the time that you make your booking. To assist you with this, we have arranged travel insurance in partnership with Holiday Extras. To arrange your travel insurance with Holiday Extras, please call 0800 781 4237 and quote 'WK830' for preferential rates. Please ensure you provide us with the name of your insurer, policy number and their 24-hour emergency contact number as soon as possible. Mercury Holidays will not be liable for any costs incurred by you due to your failure to take out suitable travel insurance from the date of booking.

If booking more than 10 weeks before departure a deposit of £49pp will need to be paid at the time of booking with the full amount payable at 10 weeks prior to departure. The deposit applies to adults and children. If you are within 10 weeks of travel then the full balance of the holiday will be payable.

It is your responsibility to check any health and vaccination requirements applicable to your booked arrangements. We can only provide general information about this. Health and hygiene facilities and disease risks vary from country to country. You should take health advice about your own needs as early as possible and in good time before your departure. Sources of information include; www.fco.gov.uk, http://travelhealthpro.org.uk/, www.hpa.org.uk, your General Practitioner or a specialist clinic.

This cruise is accessible to most people with an average level of fitness. It involves some climbing of steep steps, and getting on and off boats. This cruise is not suitable for anyone with walking difficulties.

An English speaking Cruise Director will be on board your cruise to help with any queries that you may have. They will not accompany you on land, this will be your free time to explore each city at your leisure. Airport transfers will be with an English speaking driver.

The currency in France is the Euro, we recommend that you exchange your currency before you leave the UK, however cash machines are available in all the major cities to withdraw money in the local currency.

You will need to take some extra money with you to cover any dinners where these are not mentioned in your itinerary and personal purchases, such as souvenirs, extra drinks and snacks. Approximately £200-£300 will be sufficient for the duration of the tour.